Not all cheaper turntable cartridges mean a wrong cartridge. Indeed, there are many high-quality ones within a budget of under 100 dollars. In this writing, we are going to focus on reviewing the best turntable cartridges. They promise to give you outstanding performance. Also, they are friendly with your budget. Now, let’s take a look at our reviews below. Then, you can make the perfect choice for your needs.
Turntable Cartridges Comparison Table
Top 5 Best Turntable Cartridges under 100 Reviews
Turntable Cartridge is a small piece of hardware, but it has a massive impact on the sound. If you’re looking to buy a cheap phono cartridge to upgrade your turntable, then this article review is for you. Bellow are some of the best Turntable Cartridges under $100 available in the market. A budget phono cartridge doesn’t have to mean junk. Enjoy!
Ortofon OM 5E Moving Magnet Cartridge
This model ensures to give you amazing performance. This one is great for any money pocket. It comes with an elliptical stylus that is perfect for monitoring tightly in the grooves. It can track damn effectively.
This turntable cartridge is compatible with any tonearm. Therefore, it’s even ideal for those who have a low mass tonearm. It can play well. Mainly, this one can operate for 20 hours of play.
Many people choose the Ortofon OM 5 E because of its warmth as well as depth. Also, the cartridge ensures to help you improve your sound over time. Ortofon OM 5E is a moving coil(Read more: Moving Magnet vs. Moving Coil ) which perfect for music lovers and audiophiles.
Audio-Technica AT95E Phonograph Cartridge for 1/2″ Mount Turntables
This brand has been on the business for a long time. It has a perfect reputation. Moreover, this model offers you good performance at an affordable price. It’s ideal for those who have the cart on the lower needs upgrading.
However, some people complained about the mid ranges. This turntable cartridge may hide the impurities. It features an output of 3.5 mV. That’s why this unit is quieter compared to other cartridges out there.
It may be hard to remove the stylus from its body before mounting. This model is great for those with a higher mass tonearm. It’s beautiful for playing older records as well.
Rega – Carbon MM Phono Cartridge
The Rega carbon brings a carbon fiber cantilever. It is designed to perform well. It promises to give you a velvety sound. You can use it for older records.
The device comes with a conical stylus, which some folks like the highs it offers. Some users said that this model is weak and may fail quickly. For me, this is not a good option worth the money. However, it’s still listed as a better choice out there for the price.
Ortofon Omega Turntable Cartridges – Twin Set
If you are going for a low budget cart, you can consider this model from Ortofon. It is able to perform well. It’s also suitable for your old records. If you want to get more bass in your music, this model is just for you.
However, some users complained about the mid ranges. However, it can provide you with a minimum of 20 hours of play. Sure, you will be satisfied with the sound from this cart. It’s ideal for those who want to dip their tones into the higher quality cartridge while they can still stick to the budget.
Some customers are not satisfied with the cart arriving in poor packaging. However, as a customer, you will receive a good return policy. It means they will give you a new one sent out in no time.
Ortofon 2m Red Moving Magnet Cartridge
When it comes to the most expensive cartridges to consider, we can’t miss the Ortofon 2M Red. This model is more massive a bit since this one is a bonded shank. However, the cart is still light thanks to its light tracking force of 1.8 grams.
You can use this cart with low as well as ultra-low mass tonearms. It can operate well. The model will give you some great upgrade choices with its body. Therefore, it should be your choice if you plan to get some upgrades in the future.
Here are some questions and guide to choosing a good phono cartridge.
Is any Cart fit any turntable?
Well, some turntables come with moving coil carts. These models typically don’t bring a replaceable stylus. That’s why you may need to replace the entire cartridge. In fact, some models of turntables out there are suitable for only one cartridge type. Others are capable of working with moving magnet or moving coil carts.
Is Grado cartridge good?
These cartridges are famous for their excellent midrange as well as perfect vocals. This model is warmer a bit compared to Shure’s range. This cartridge can help you get a more classic vinyl sound. However, it may not satisfy those who are familiar with higher-end cartridges. You can buy Grado cartridges with a price ranging from 100 to 200 dollars.
When Do I Need to Replace a Turntable Stylus?
According to most manufacturers, it’s essential to change stylus at around 1000 hours of use. It means you need to replace your turntable stylus every couple of years if you are using your device for 1 hour per day.
Besides, this task also depends on the material the manufacturers use to make their products. We recommend you to check the lifespan recommendation of the manufacturer when getting it.
All the units we’ve mentioned previously are the best considerations for you when it comes to the best carts under 100. However, our top pick is the Ortofon 5 E because of its excellent performance. However, if you’re planning for some upgrades later, it may not be suitable for you. Instead, you can consider the Ortofon 2M Red as a good alternative. Now, you have a good idea of what you are looking for in your budget. So, make the right purchase!